Last week we had “Land of 1000 Dances”. This week, it’s land of one dance. “The Clyde.” Of course you’ve heard of it. In 1964, on dance floors, table tops and car hoods across the country, kids were doing “The Clyde.”
Or maybe not. I wasn’t there.
This week we pay tribute to someone who I think of as “America’s Last Sweetheart,” Annette Funicello. There were many before her, but if you can think of a later “America’s Sweetheart,” I’d like to hear about it.
Here’s a delicious triple scoop of Annette starting with her appearance on a Bob Hope special in 1964, introducing “The Clyde” to America.
I could be wrong, but I think this is the only time she sang the word “funky.”
After that song, she performs her hit “Jamaica Ska” along with Hope, who gamely throws himself into it even though he’s not sure what he’s doing. He’s a pro.
“Jamaica Ska” was from the soundtrack of the film “Pajama Party,” one in the series of famous “beach party” films made by American International Pictures. Here’s Annette, singing the title number in wide-screen and lurid color. Groovy Friday/American Pictures International alumnus Candy Johnson is dancing her heart out (as usual.) That’s her next to the band. And the choreographer? David Winters, of course. His work keeps popping up here, over and over. I think I’ll just refer to him from now on as the official choreographer of “Groovy Friday.”
To complete the triumvirate, it’s Annette with rock legends “The Beach Boys” singing the theme to the Disney film “The Monkey’s Uncle.”
Have a groovy weekend!
Groovy Friday extra!
This weeks headline, aside from expressing the three clip nature of this week’s post, is a tribute to the song “Annette” written about Annette Funicello by adult Mouseketeer Jimmy Dodd. He also wrote “The Mickey Mouse Club March.” Annette was discovered by Disney talent scouts at a young person’s dance recital in Burbank. They figured she would make a good second-tier Mouseketeer with her ballet skills. They never dreamed she would get so much fan mail that they’d have no choice but to put her front and center. She’s performing here with another dance-trained Mouseketeer, Bobby Burgess.
We’ll hear from him again.